The migrants are back! It’s been a late spring here in New York, but it’s finally arrived. April has banished winter for good, and the woods are beginning to fill with the sounds of returning songbirds.
Compiled by Eamon Corbett
The migrants are back! It’s been a late spring here in New York, but it’s
finally arrived. April has banished winter for good, and the woods are
beginning to fill with the sounds of returning songbirds. The signs have
trickled in over the course of the month—the first mourning cloak butterfly;
the first phoebe; first pine warbler; palm; then a six butterfly day; a six
warbler day. Before long April will give way to the migratory madness of May,
but this month we celebrate the long-awaited return of spring.
On Flight of the Scrub Jay, Alex
Burdo gives an overview of the returning migrants in his part of Connecticut this April,
including a lovely streamside singer, the Louisiana Waterthrush.
Making my way through
the forest, I was surprised to hear a loud boat of song, seemingly from right
behind me. Being the huge warbler fan that I am, I knew who the source of the
singing was almost instantly, and it didn’t take me long to find it, perched
around ten feet off the ground in a tall shrub.
Speaking of Waterthrushes, on Two Birders and Binoculars, John
Mark Simmons gives us tips on how to separate the Louisiana Waterthrush
from its somewhat more streaky and yellower cousin.
Spring has finally
arrived once again! For some birders, this is the most enjoyable part of the
year. All the birds are singing with full volume and they are in their best
plumage… With the massive invasion of Warblers, the Louisiana
and Northern Waterthrushes come along and can
cause some confusion in the field.
On John’s Birding Blog, John
Shamgochian regales us with the tale of an adult King Eider in the Cape Cod Canal:
Feathers dazzled the
eyes of the pale-necks: blue, green, orange, white, black; he was a grandiose
sight indeed and he knew it. His majestic sails curled with pride. He was a
gentle bird but not a humble one. He took full responsibility for the glimmer
of his feathers. he gloated and all the common folks looked at him and said
"he is so beautiful that I am sure he has a long Latin name". He was
King of the canal.
While American birders can certainly boast about our more
colorful warblers, Bill of Bill’s
Birding proves to us that the old world can hold its own in terms of
colorful migrants with his photos of an absolutely gorgous Bluethroat. That’s
certainly a species I wouldn’t mind having show up in New York this year!
With 20 mph winds
blowing about, and my hands physically shaking, it was quite hard to get a
sharp image. To get anywhere near enough stability, it was a matter of lying
flat out with the lens resting on the grass, practically looking up at one of
the most stunning birds I've ever seen. Totally worth the slog to get there,
and without a doubt one of my most memorable encounters yet…